Bristol pip Gloucester, London Irish smash Newcastle
PREMIERSHIP FRIDAY WRAP: Bristol Bears claimed a narrow 29-28 win over Gloucester at Ashton Gate in the Premiership on Friday.
Gloucester scored three tries in the first half but early on it was Bristol who were the dominant side.
Harry Thacker and Andy Uren both went over for scores with Callum Sheedy slotting both conversions and a penalty to give the hosts a healthy lead.
The Cherry and Whites hit their stride and Louis Rees-Zammit showed his pace with a break and his offload set Charlie Chapman up for Gloucester’s opening score.
Adam Hastings slotted the conversion and was also accurate from the tee when Louis Rees-Zammit went over for a try of his own.
To finish off the first half, Chris Harris collected the inside ball from Freddie Clarke and shot over to give Gloucester a 21-17 lead at the break.
It was a tight and tense second half with Chris Harris and Matias Alemanno working well to hold Uren up over the line to stop a try but the Bears were able to get over the line through Toby Fricker after the Cherry and Whites went down to 14 men as Freddie Clarke was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock on.
Both teams were soon playing with 14 players as Sam Bedlow was red-carded for a high hit on Hastings.
The momentum led to a Cherry and White maul try, scored by Jack Singleton and Hastings’ conversion gave Gloucester a 28-24 lead with just minutes on the clock.
At the death, Fricker went over for his second to claim the one-point victory for our West Country rivals.
*In Friday’s other match, London Irish walked away from Kingston Park with a win for the first time in eight years after a 42-14 triumph over Newcastle Falcons.
Kyle Rowe opened proceedings for the Exiles and his side had the try bonus point wrapped up by the break with more scores from Albert Tissue, Agustín Creevy and Ollie Hassell-Collins.
A try in each half from Sean Robinson and Ben Stevenson could do little for Newcastle in the way of a comfortable win for the visitors.
Declan Kidney’s men added two more well-taken tries in the second period, firstly through Curtis Rona and then Matt Cornish, to take Irish to their first league double over Falcons in 11 seasons.
The scores and scorers:
Bristol Bears 29-28 Gloucester
Tries: Thacker, Uren, Fricker 2
Cons: Sheedy 3
Tries: Chapman, Rees-Zammit, Harris, Singleton
Cons: Hastings 4
Newcastle Falcons 14-42 London Irish
Tries: Robinson, Stevenson
Cons: Hodgson 2
For London Irish:
Tries: Rowe, Tuisue, Creevy, Hassell-Collins, Rona, Cornish
Cons: Jackson 6
Sources: @gloucesterrugby & @londonirish